Phil Kessel is riding high. As the Olympics approach, the Toronto Maple Leafs scoring leader and curious former Gopher has six goals in his last seven games, including two Tuesday night in a 5-2 win over Colorado. Even more astonishingly, for a player who doesn't talk much to the media, so much so he's been called "possibly the most media-averse athlete in pro sports," he's earning high praise.
The National Post called him a leader, albeit an atypical one providing it "where it matters: the scoresheet."
The CBC? Kessel has "a definite jump in his step in recent games that has helped his team turn things around after the team fell out of a playoff position."
TSN? "His elevated performance has lifted the Leafs from the stench of a four-game losing skid into their longest win streak of the season."
And his skills aren't limited to the ice: Kessel
recently finished second in a charity poker event where he dusted some of the world's best, donated his $15,000 prize to SickKids Foundation and threw in another $15,000.
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French gymnast Samir Ait Said landed awkwardly on a vault, and a sickening snap echoed throughout the arena. A split second later, he was clutching his contorted left leg, his tibia fractured and his Olympics over.
He’s heard the coaching staff’s message to be more assertive, trust his receivers and, in turn, take more chances.